FAQ

  • Can private schools charge capitation fees or "donations" at the time of admission?

    No. The Act specifies that for all children in all types of schools:

    • 1) No school or person shall, while admitting a child, collect any capitation fee....
    • 2) Any school or person, if in contravention of the provisions.... receive capitation fee, shall be punishable with FINE which may extend to TEN TIMES the capitation fee charged"

    Individual states and union territories have also issued rules which specify the grievance redressal mechanism to lodge complaints.

  • How would admission be done, if there are no tests and no documentation required?

    No admission can be denied for lack of any documentation, including proof of age.

  • Since the Act talks about age appropriate enrollment, but no documents are required at the time of admission, how would the age of child be determined?

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  • Which children are eligible to apply for the 25% reserved seats?

    The Act specifies that admission in the free seats should be offered to two categories of children defined as

    "child belonging to DISADVANTAGED GROUP" means a child belonging to the Scheduled Caste, the Scheduled Tribe, the socially and educationally backward class or such other group having disadvantage owing to social, cultural, economical, geographical, linguistic, gender or such other factor, as may be specified by the appropriate government, by notification;

    "child belonging to WEAKER SECTION" means a child belonging to such parent or guardian whose annual income is lower than the minimum limit specified by the appropriate Government, by notification;"

    Individual states and union territories have also issued rules which specify detailed eligibility criteria and family income limits for eligible children. For more details, please click on the location in the left sidebar.

    Colloquially, in common parlance all eligible children for the 25% reserved seats are also referred to as belonging to the "economically weaker section" (EWS).

  • What does the 25% quota obligation of private schools imply? What is the obligation of aided schools?

    All private schools have to admit 25% children from disadvantaged groups from their neighbourhoods for free education, which can be extended if the number is not filled up within the customary 1km radius; every year in the class in which they induct new children. If the induction class is class 1, then 25% children will be admitted therein each year, but if the induction is done in pre-school, then the quota will be filled there. The Act says ‘at least 25%’ instead of ‘at least and no more’, which implies that a school could offer to take more than 25% children.

    Private aided schools shall have to admit children from similar backgrounds in the proportion of aid they receive from the government, in the induction class each year, and will not receive any extra reimbursement for these children. For example, if the total annual contribution from the government to an aided school is 70% of its total recurring expenditure for a particular year, it will have to admit 70% children in the induction class that year.

    Either of these admissions each year shall be in the induction class only, and not for each class of the elementary stage.

  • Is it true that no child can be expelled or failed?

    No school, governmental or private, can detain (fail) or expel any child at the elementary stage.

    The Delhi High Court has already given a verdict on this on the basis of the Act (April 7, 2010), against St. Xavier’s School, Delhi, which had to take back all the children they had declared failed and expelled from the school.

  • What does “free” mean?

    According to the Act, no financial constraints can prevent a child from enrolling, attending and completing elementary cycle of education. The Act in Section 3(2) enlarges the term “free” by mandating that “no child shall be liable to pay any kind of fee or charges or expenses which may prevent him or her from pursuing and completing the elementary education”. This could include, beyond fees, expenses relating to textbooks, note books, writing material, uniforms, transportation, educational and support materials for children with special needs (e.g. hearing aids, spectacles, Braille books, crutches, etc.) and so on.